Sunday, 20 October, 2019

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy

Indictment of US financier Epstein could expose sex crimes of powerful men around the world Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy
Patty Aguilar | 10 July, 2019, 02:58

Federal agents broke down the front door to his upscale New York City apartment, where they found a "vast trove" of lewd photos of minor and young women, according to CNN.

A spokesperson for Mr Clinton said: "President Clinton knows nothing about the bad crimes Jeffery Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in NY".

His lawyers argued that the matter had been settled in 2008 with a plea agreement in Florida involving similar allegations.

"The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence", Acosta, tweeted Tuesday.

The indictment claims that Epstein, 66, has been engaging in sex acts with dozens of vulnerable minors, after naked massage sessions in his lavish mansions, and paying them hundreds of dollars in cash so that they would recruit other underage girls to form an expanded "Ponzi scheme".

The image of Mr Epstein was taken on May 18 2005.

Berman, the U.S. Attorney, was asked by reporters why the plea agreement negotiated in Florida did not apply to NY.

Prosecutors who helped craft the Florida agreement included Alex Acosta, then the USA attorney for the Southern District of Florida and now Trump's secretary of labor. Many legal experts say the terms of the deal were indefensible and unprecedented in light of the alleged crimes. They deserve their day in court.

Epstein has said in court filings that his encounters with alleged victims were consensual and that he believed they were 18 when they occurred.

Some of Mr Epstein's accusers welcomed the indictment.

"The news of my abuser's arrest today is a step in the right direction to finally hold Epstein accountable for his crimes and restore my faith that power and money can't triumph over justice", said a statement by one of the women, Sarah Ransome.

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He said investigators would not be able to force him to testify even though his comments could add to the "cumulative" evidence against Epstein, who was in court in NY this week. The home, formerly a prep school, is across the street from a home owned by Bill Cosby and has been valued at approximately $77 million.

These aren't the first such charges against the former hedge fund manager.

Epstein paid girls to recruit new girls, to ensure a "steady supply of new victims to exploit" prosecutors said.

"He has enormous wealth", Mr Berman said. Epstein now faces up to 45 years in prison.

"With the evidence available more than a decade ago, federal prosecutors insisted that Epstein go to jail, register as a sex offender and put the world on notice that he was a sexual predator".

Acosta has defended the plea deal as appropriate under the circumstances, though the White House said in February that it was "looking into" his handling of the deal.

This deal, which has come under renewed controversy for its leniency, was negotiated by former US-Attorney Alexander Acosta.

Federal prosecutors recently filed court papers in the Florida case contending the deal must stand.

Epstein now faces one count each of sex trafficking of minors and of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. Even so, the deal only applies to federal prosecutors in the Southern District of Florida.

But this year, a judge reviewing the outcome of the case in Florida ruled that Acosta and his fellow prosecutors violated the law by not informing the victims in the case that they were resolving the case with the state charges as the federal investigation ended. A series of articles in the Miami Herald in November led to court challenges to the deal Mr Acosta brokered.

"The past can not be undone; the government committed itself. and the parties have not disputed that Epstein complied with its provisions", prosecutors wrote.

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